PtG Article 05.08.2010

Sumo scandal shows ties to the Japanese yakuza

Japan Sumo Association Chairman Musashigawa will step down over the scandal involving illegal betting on professional baseball and sumo's alleged ties with the yakuza, sources said yesterday.

A ranking JSA official said Wednesday it has decided to incorporate reforms put forth by an independent panel that aim to cut ties between sumo and the underworld in connection with betting on pro baseball.Japanese police on Monday raided the offices of yakuza gangs. The raids followed the arrests of three gangsters and a former sumo wrestler on Sunday on suspicion they extorted Y6 million (€ 53,134) from a broker of illegal baseball gambling.Sumo's governing body has said at least 27 wrestlers, masters and others from 13 sumo training centres or "stables" have admitted to illegally gambling on the results of Japanese professional baseball games.

SOURCES: Sydney Morning Herald and The Japan Times